The idea behind a coworking space is to understand and demonstrate the power of collaboration, cooperation, and social connection. According to the Global Workspace Association, coworking professionals “come for the space but stay for the people.”
Events and other activities are key to building a strong community in a coworking space. Not only do they enable members to forge relationships, they also increase the shared workplace satisfaction and work to impress prospective members.
Building a community in a coworking facility requires dedicated efforts to nurture and develop the feeling of belonging and ownership. Here are some ways you can build and develop a community in a coworking space.
1. Host Networking Events
This is a staple presence in almost all of the coworking spaces, which is a testament to its effectiveness (it’s why it’s on our our list of hidden must-have features in a coworking space). It is imperative for coworking facilities to hold frequent networking events at regular intervals with the aim to create a strong community among members.
Such events present a chance to different professionals in the coworking space to learn and grow – while ensuring the professional bonding between the co-workers improves. The opportunity to work with like-minded individuals is a major incentive for the newer generation.
Members of coworking spaces can also call upon eminent guest speakers to such events. The insight is both knowledgeable and refreshing for the community and provides an incredible opportunity to make connections and grow within the industry.
2. Hire a Community Concierge
Coworking concierges enjoy meeting new people and develop a healthy rapport with other members. They are usually the first people you will expect to meet when you enter a well-managed coworking space. They will willingly give you a tour of the whole place, introducing you to other people who are also working in the same space.
However, in addition to being fancy receptionists and office managers, community concierges are tasked to dedicate their attention solely towards the unique needs of the members and cater to their requirements.
Whether it’s a problem with the air conditioners or a tense situation between two individuals – community concierge are the first to provide suggestions that work for all and deal with problems. Without community concierge, a coworking facility is likely to lose its charm, as they play a significant role in community building.
3. Create a Coworking Blog
A blog or a monthly newsletter is a great medium to spread the word across the community as well as invite members to voice their opinions on matters that affect them inside the place.
Additionally, there is ample room for creativity in such newsletters and blogs with dedicated segments regarding a particular industry and publishing coworking members’ interviews on different perspectives.
The objective behind newsletters and blogs is to break the ice between fellow workers by providing an informal and interesting space to engage and look forward to.
4. Create Happy Hours
Weekly or fortnightly happy hours are a highly successful social event that has been picked on by many coworking spaces. These events require minimal structure and budget, while also allowing members to connect with each other casually.
Additionally, you can designate a theme to the happy hour every once in a while, keeping in mind what speaks to your audience best. This exercise allows people to mingle with each other and create a sense of belonging to the place.
5. Involve Members In Decision Making
To cultivate the feeling of community, it is important to make the members feel they hold importance and their suggestions are welcomed. When there are matters that concern the workspace, and it is feasible to obtain their input – it should be taken.
For instance, the nature of the events that are held in the coworking space should be decided after consulting with members. There are several other things where the advice of members can be taken, to further increase the feeling of ownership and belonging.
6. Creating A Member Wall
Much like a family wall, a member wall with pictures and credentials or interests of co-workers is a great idea to increase coordination and communication among people.
The admins of every group should be tasked with the initiative of putting up the photos of their team members. This provides a place where workers can get familiar with other, and if need be, look up their credentials and engage over a possible task or job they want to outsource.
This approach works really well as it sets a friendly environment and helps members connect with each other.
7. Create Accountability Groups
Accountability groups are a great way of developing the community spirit between people sharing a coworking space. An accountability group is essentially formed, so that fellow members know that they have to meet regularly to discuss various internal aspects of the facility.
This approach has multiple benefits, as it also enables a feeling of empowerment among the members to actively participate in making the coworking space better and safer for everybody.
Various coworking spaces utilize accountability groups in different ways; it can either be a weekly check-in or an organized meeting. The objective of the accountability group remains unchanged: to cultivate a feeling of community and belonging.
All of these ways are examples of some of the great opportunities you’ll find at FireWorks! What are some other things we could do here to create more community?